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3 top benefits for reducing employee stress

Benefits | Wellness

Posted on: Wednesday November 03, 2021

by Karen Thornley

This week is Stress Awareness Week, a campaign to increase public awareness of the causes, signs and coping strategies for stress.

Stress is a recognised medical condition which if left untreated can have a serious impact on our physical and mental wellbeing – whether through losing sleep, lack of focus, depression or other mental health conditions. 

The impact on productivity is obvious. Employees suffering from stress are more likely to make mistakes, get distracted at work, have a higher rate of sickness absence, and complete tasks to a lower standard than their colleagues. All of this reduces outputs across the company, and ultimately impacts your bottom line.

Employees dealing with stress may be trapped in a downward spiral where their stress is affecting their job performance and worrying about this is making them more stressed. 

What can employers do?

As employers, there’s a lot you can do to help employees manage and reduce their stress. 

1. Supporting healthy habits

Eating healthily, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly are all crucial for our mental wellbeing, but often these routines go out the window when we’re feeling stressed. We may struggle to sleep or find time for exercise and crave sugary or fatty foods as a short-term way of boosting our mood.

Providing accessible information and advice is a way to help employees build healthy habits. You could deliver this via a resource library with articles, videos etc, or be more proactive and offer workshops on recognising and managing the effects of stress. Above all, be clear that as a company you value employees’ mental and physical wellbeing and recognise that they need to feel well in order to do well at work. 

Giving employees these tools will be useful not only to alleviate immediate periods of stress but will also help build workforce resilience in the long term. 

2. Mental wellness apps

Access to mental health apps is increasing in popularity among employers. They provide a convenient way for employees to manage common mental health conditions like anxiety and stress. Apps provide simple exercises, tools and techniques that match individual mental fitness needs – like breathing exercises, meditation, mindfulness and more.

The great advantage to apps is they can be accessed by the employee anytime, anywhere and they can empower employees to feel more in control of their own mental wellbeing. 

3. Talking therapy 

At times of stress, it’s important to have someone we can turn to and share how we’re feeling. An Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) provides a confidential phone line which staff can call 24/7 to speak with a trained advisor about anything that’s worrying them and get actionable advice. They can also arrange sessions with a professional counsellor, either over the phone or by meeting face-to-face.

This is an incredibly valuable service that employees can access in privacy, at no cost to them. EAPs offer advice on a huge range of complex issues; although sometimes all that’s required is someone to share a problem with in the wee small hours.  Sharing how we feel – good or bad – with a trusted listener can help let off steam and prevent stress building up.

To find out more about how Personal Group can help support your workforce wellbeing, call 01908 605000 or email letschat@personalgroup.com.

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